Siem Reap

Siem Reap Travel Blog

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After a pleasant bus ride through the countryside I arrived Siem Reap in the afternoon. Travelling by bus instead of plane makes you experience much more along the way. Cambodia is a far more poor country than f.ex Thailand, but the people are just as friendly and nice as the Thai’s. You see more street children and poverty, but you just have to get used to it and cope with it somehow. The worst experience so far was in Phnom Penh when we stopped the car waiting for a red light. A teenager, maybe 13-14 years old, approached our car holding a baby in his arms. He was begging for money, and one thing you don’t do is giving money to child beggars. When he didn’t get any response from us in the car, he started banging the child’s head towards the car door.

It was of course hurting a lot for the child, so it started crying intensely. So what do you do? My school mate rushed out of the car very upset and angry. He sees this every day working there, but I was kinda paralyzed about the whole situation.

Well, back to my trip to Siem Reip… I checked in to the hotel which I had pre-booked. Originally I was planning on staying on Soria Moria, but I changed my mind the last second and booked another hotel with a swimming pool. It was great! I booked a guide and driver for 2 days covering the most important sights of the Angkor Wat area. Some people say you need at least 5 days to see it, others say it’s enough with 2 days. I did the 2 days tour with a good guide and for me it was enough.

I you are really really interested, go for a longer tour. But after 2 days with rocks, heat and history, my mind and body wants to do something else. So that’s what I did – a helicopter tour covering seeing everything I had seen the 2 previous days by food. I’ve had a helicopter tour like this before in NYC. It’s expensive and short (12 minutes – 110 USD), but worth every dollar. Highly recommendable!

Wherever I travel I always meet someone, and this happened this time also. I teamed up with some Khmer guys for some drinks and dinner and I had a great time there also. Siem Reap and Phnom Penh for a tourist can be quite expensive in general. Tuk-tuk drivers, water, everything you buy is more expensive. Everything is USD based, and it is actually more expensive travelling there than in Thailand. But I’ve never been a good bargainer, and sometimes it actually feels good to pay a poor tuk tuk driver a little more than usual.

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Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling